Remains’ fate at shuttered Mich. pet cemetery uncertain

Livingston Daily Press & Argus

Howell – The closure of a Michigan pet cemetery has left some residents wondering what will happen to their animals’ remains.

Waterford resident Diane Rousseau visits her cats at a pet cemetery in Genoa Township, Mich., on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

Heavenly Acres pet cemetery in Genoa Township closed after its lease expired on Sept. 30, The Livingston Daily Press & Argus reported.

It’s unclear what will happen to the land or if residents will be able to visit animals that are buried there.

Linda Williams, who owns the company that ran the cemetery, First Pet Care Services, declined to speak to the newspaper. Her lawyer, David Johnson, said he tried to renegotiate the lease with the property’s current owner, Carol Street Park Ridge, but was denied.

“I don’t know what happens to the animals,” he said. “We have no control anymore.”

Carol Street Park Ridge’s attorney, Shari Pollesch, didn’t respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.

This Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 photo shows plots at the Heavenly Acres Pet Cemetery in Genoa Township, Mich. The pet cemetery closed after its lease expired on Sept. 30, leaving some residents wondering what will happen to their animals’ remains. Genoa Township Supervisor Bill Rogers says there could be up to 74,000 animals remains buried on the 12-acre property.

There could be up to 74,000 animal remains buried on the 12-acre property, which has been a pet cemetery for 40 years, according to Bill Rogers, the township’s supervisor.

Diane Rousseau, who has five cats buried at the cemetery, said she’s worried the property will be repurposed and she won’t have access to her pets’ remains.

“It’s a cluster and I don’t know where to turn,” Rousseau said. “I’m devastated and worried my pets are going to be bulldozed.”

Rogers said that the property’s owners would first have to get township permission if they wished to develop the land, though they could farm the land without notifying officials.

Rogers said township officials support the pet cemetery “in existence essentially forever.”

Rousseau said she’s considering exhuming her pets’ remains, but was told by Pollesch that she could be considered trespassing if she does so.